Thinking through the Guitar

The sound-cell-texture chain

Marlon Titre
Supervising team:
Prof. Frans de Ruiter (promotor), Arthur Kampela (promotor), Steven Mackey (promotor), dr. Marcel Cobussen (co-promotor)
Musician type:
strings, composer
composition, guitar, instrumentation, orchestration, scoring
21st century music



Although the guitar has been part of the classical music tradition for centuries, writing for the guitar remains a formidable challenge for many composers. Where orchestral instruments have a long history of scoring guides that help composers develop their craft, the number of studies dedicated to guitar scoring remains scarce. This has led to a myriad of scoring problems in guitar works written by non-guitarist composers, often evidenced in unplayable passages and underdeveloped textures. 

The present study aims to fill this gap by establishing and developing guidelines for effective use of the classical guitar’s scoring potential. These guidelines are described through the sound-cell-texture chain, a model introduced in this study that identifies building blocks for guitar scoring that are believed to give the composer access to the scoring potential for the guitar. The second aim of this study is to use the findings of the research to compose a set of new guitar etudes.

Related events

December 10th, 2013 (16h15)

Marlon Titre's PhD defense

On Tuesday December 10th 2013, Marlon Titre defended his doctoral dissertation Thinking through the guitar: the sound-cell-texture chain at Leiden University.